“ If your halls aren't included here please suggest them. „
The halls Of Residence at the University of Stirling are not on a par with the other top Universities around Scotland. In terms of the individual halls they range from the likes of AKD and ASH which are pretty decent all the way to Geddes which is very poor. All of the halls boast smalls rooms in comparison to what you generally find at other Scottish Universties to the extent that in some of the smallest rooms a 6 foot tall person could virtually touch from one side of the room to the other. The kithens however are not too bad and offer good communal areas and decent cooking facilities. As negative as i have been about the halls at Stirling if you are lucky enough to get one of the newly built rooms in ASH then you will have a nice en-suite room that is fit for any student. One major redeeming feature for Stirling is also the fact that the Halls Of Residence at situated on one of the nicest campuses in the UK with a lovely environment of green grass, lakes and wildlife. Despite the poor quality of the halls a stay at Stirling will still offer a superb student experience.
As a former resident of AKD for 3 years between 1999-2002, there is no doubting the hall's appeal. Prior to refursbishment in 1999, the hall was, what can only be described as, a damp, dingy and dated squalor with brown carpets and white breeze block walls taking pride of place throughout. The breeze blocks are still there (there was little they could do about that, save knock the entire halls down) but the place has been revamped to a high standard. You have your ubiquitous ISDN lines providing internet access, a little-used games rooms and a welcoming reception area. The rooms are small and adequate for their function though provide no real talking point. Use them as a study base and you will be fine. Kitchens are generally clean and spacious and are the main communal area for each corridors 12 or so residents. Foreign students generally occupy one floor and are a delightful feature - allowing people to mingle and meet in a semi-international community.
I often feel sorry for people who lived at home and commuted to university. I think that living away from home and being chucked in with a load of random strangers is one of the best things about university. I went to Stirling University between 1995 and 1999. I lived in university owned accommodation for three of these years. Stirling University owns accommodation both on campus and off campus. First years are guaranteed a place in halls on campus. Fourth years also get preference for university owned accommodation. It is a lottery for getting accommodation when you are in second and third year, If I remember correctly there was a points system for living on campus. More points were taken away each year you lived on campus. . Most people in second year lived in private rented accommodation. All accommodation was self catering which was good as you learned to cook (some people seemed to live on the same thing day in day out. I knew one guy who lived on Pizza and Smash!) and did not have to have instituionalised food (you could eat in the many eating establishments dotted around the campus. The accommodation can be broken down as thus First Year halls- Andrew Stewart Hall, AK Davidson hall, Murray and Geddes Court Off campus Union Street and John Forties Court On campus Flats Fraser of Allender, Muirhead, Donnelley, Polworth and Alexander Court Chalets- Pendriech Way and Spital Hill First Year Halls The four predominantly first year halls are AK Davidson, (where I spent my first year), Murray, Andrew Stewart Hall and Geddes Court From the outside the halls looked similar in design. Horrible sixties almost prison like buildings made out of breezeblocks. And are six or seven stories high. It is a pain if you have a room on one of the top floors like I did as you had to carry all your shopping up lots of stairs. The accommodation is very basic. The halls are divided into two wings. Each floor had two kitchens and up to 40 forty rooms. The rooms are tiny with a sink, a bed, a wardrobe and a bookshelf. However I do have fond memories of my cell, as it was my first place of my own away from home. Most of the rooms are single. Luckily there were very few twin rooms. One thing I would advise is some earplugs if you are near the kitchen or have very noisy neighbours. The walls are quite thin. You get sound from next door and the floors above and below you. At the end of each corridor there was one kitchen which doubled up as the social area for the corridor. About 15-20 people shared this. The kitchen contained one table, about six chairs, a sink, and a normal size cooker. I will always remember the fridge. It was massive but once you opened it a grid of compartments confronted you. Each resident had an upturned shoebox as a fridge and each little fridge had its own key. There was no freezer so all fresh food had to be eaten quickly. The bathing facilities were also shared. On the ground floor there was the social area where you could sit and talk long into the night. There was also the evil vending machines waiting to gobble up your cash after a hard night?s drinking in the union. In the basement was the games room. The major problem was he telephone arrangements. There were only four pay phones in each hall to serve about 300 students. Six o?clock phoning home time was fun. This probably has changed since the widespread introduction of mobile phones. There were also board games to borrow if you could not be bothered revising. There were no laundries in the halls but there was the university launderette. I found hi an excellent place to get reading done, as I had nothing else to do apart from watch the washing go round and round. The halls were only five minutes walk from the teaching buildings and more importantly the student union. Your social life depended on which hall you were in. Each hall had a hall committee, which held social events. (I must admit I never actually went to any AKD?s hall parties). Andrew Stewart hall (ASH) was supposed to have the best parties. Murray was supposed to be a bit boring. I knew two people who transferred from Murray to AKD. AKD was supposed to be the best all round that year but maybe I?m just biased. Geddes was different. It had a lot of mature students and also foreign and exchange students alongside second, third and fourth years. I had heard it had single sex corridors and used to be nicknamed the Virgin Megastore. The first year halls now cost 19000 for a 37 week let. ASH now has one wing of posh en suite rooms for those who can afford it at £2300 a year. Off campus Union Street 2B Union Street was my residence in third year. Most students were third years with some second and fourth years. The flats were modern and quite nice. There were six people to a flat. Each had a kitchen/ living room with fridge -freezer and nuclear powered microwave. There were two shower rooms .The rooms were very much like those in halls but bigger and nicer. There was a launderette in the complex. The main problem with Union Street was that only background heating was provided. You had to buy electricity cards for the rest. I had many a fun time having to go to the shop or the 24-hour garage to get an electricity card if the electricity was running out. The good thing about Union Street was its location. It was ten minutes walk from the town centre, five minutes from Tescos and most importantly it was right next door to the West End (now sadly gone), The West End was a great cheap pub that was once a locals pub but the owner realized what a profit he could make with students next door. It took quarter of an hour to get into uni by bus. It costs £1970 a year to live at Union Street I never actually set foot in John Forties Court. I gather it is similar to Union Street but with some on suite flats. The p roblem with it was it was on the road between the university and town so was neither here nor there. Prices are similar to Union Street unless it is en-suite, which is £2340 per year. On campus flats Fraser of Allender, Muirhead, Donnelley, Polworth These are near the first year halls and are for mostly third and fourth years and have the same lovely sixties design. There are different numbered bedroom flats but from what I remember they were all quite basic. The good thing about them was that they were near all the on campus facilities.The prices of these vary fdepening if they have been recently upgraded or not Alexander Court Alexander Court or Allele Pale as it was more commonly known was my abode during fourth year. Alexander Court is fairly modern and has four blocks with 16 flats with seven bedrooms in them. The problem with Alexander Court was its location. It was termed as on campus accommodation but it was a good 15-20 minute trek from the teaching buildings. I suppose the theory was to give fourth years peace and quiet. Luckily there was (sometimes) a free mini bus that ran there from 6pm to 12am as the walk could perhaps be a little intimidating for a girl on her own as it passed through fields and wooded areas. The facilities are okay as you get your own 24-hour launderette with the dreaded munchy machines. Allele Pale does have an end of year open-air party with free food and beer and a bouncy castle. My tip for anyone living there is if you go shopping catch a Tillicoultlry, (great place name) or Clackmannan or St Andrews bus and get off just before Blairlogie. And walk up the back entrance of Alexander Court. It is miles if you walk from the main university bus stop. The cost is ?2070 The Chalets Pendriech Way and Spital Hill These are fourth year perks. They seem to be the best places to live. From the outside they look picturesque, as they are log cabins. They should be in an American national park or in an alpine meadow. Inside they are big and they have really nice duvets. This is because they were built primarily for the summer market when they are let out to families rather than scummy students. Pendreich Way is great especially if you are an arts student as the arts building Pathfoot is only fifteen seconds walk so you can get up five minutes before your lecture. The downside of them is every firs year looking through your front window. My boyfriend lived in 1 Pendreich Way and was forever having people trying to look in to their chalet. The good thing I am told about the chalets is you have none above or below you so there are no fire alarms. If you burn the toast it is just your chalet affected. Spital Hill is another on but off campus development. Again there is the mini bus as the walk late at night is a bit dodgy. Spital Hill was known as partyville as it is nice and isolated. The cost for the chalets is just over £2000 Plus points of living on campus Near teaching buildings, the union and other facilities (Akrams mini market, bank, newsagent, Mc Robert theatre and Gannochy sport centre) You have the privilege of living in the prettiest campus in Europe and can duck, rabbit and squirrel spot to your hearts delight (you get bored of it after a while though) Minus points Trek to Tescos and town Can be claustrophobic for some Plus points of living off campus Nearer town Minus pints Commuting Electricity cards John Forties being in the middle of nowhere